The Thanksgiving Tree has become a part of our family tradition for the past ten years; it offers a creative way to give thanks for the simple blessings that occur every day. It helps us turn thankfulness into enough; and appreciate all we have.
How this tradition started for our family is a blessing in itself.
Our youngest daughter Jillian was born on January 31, 1997 with several complications. I found myself wallowing in the sadness of having a sick child instead of looking at the countless blessings of having a new addition to the family. We had moved to a new city, friends were scarce; days without doctor appointments and worry were few.
November 1 rolled around, and I created our first Thanksgiving Tree. I found an old branch in the yard, fixed it into a large white pumpkin and placed it on our entry table. Every day I would write down little blessings of the moment, thankful thoughts. I often look back at our Thanksgiving Tree cards from 1997 and I am humbled.
To put this into perspective, here are a few from our first Thanksgiving Tree:
· Jillian made it through the night
· Jillian ate a full ounce of formula and wasn’t sick
· Madison fell asleep holding Jillian’s hand
· We didn’t have to see any doctors today
· My check to the pharmacy didn’t bounce
· I had a full day without tears, Yahoo!
The Thanksgiving Tree tradition:
November 1 we put up our Thanksgiving Tree, layout the hang tags and write down our first thankful thought of the season.
Every day in November our family writes down little accomplishments, things we are thankful for, daily successes and hang them on our Thanksgiving Tree. Friends who come over are often inspired to write down thoughts and hang them on our tree. On Thanksgiving morning, before the turkey goes in the oven or the parade begins I take down the hang tags, pour myself a cup of coffee and read all of the tags off of the tree. It is then that I am reminded of how much I have to be thankful for.
I am thrilled to introduce the Thanksgiving Tree to a wider audience.
“Be Thankful for what you have and you will end up having more” Oprah